Baldock mum to run London Marathon 2015 after hospital saved son who was found face down in garden pond

Jonah in hospital.

Jonah in hospital. - Credit: Archant

A Baldock mother-of-three is running the London Marathon to raise money for a charity which saved her son’s life after he was found drowned at the bottom of her garden pond.

Mum Paula Holm is running the London Marathon for Great Ormond Street Hospital after staff helped sa

Mum Paula Holm is running the London Marathon for Great Ormond Street Hospital after staff helped save her son Jonah. - Credit: Archant

Paula Holm will be pounding the streets of the capital next month to raise as much money as possible for Great Ormond Street Hospital – four years after a sunny afternoon at her Chilvers Bank home which will stay with her forever.

On a Sunday afternoon in March 2011, 19-month-old Jonah was playing with his brother and sister on the patio while Paula and her friend, Helen, were having lunch.

After a while Paula went upstairs, her six-year-old daughter Ella went inside to see Helen, and three-year-old Levi followed shortly after, shutting the door.

Luckily a neighbour caught sight of Jonah, who had ended up face down in the pond, which was drained but had filled with rainwater, and managed to get Paula’s attention at the window.


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Paula said: “When I looked out of the window and saw my son face down, I thought he was dead and my whole world turned completely upside down.

“I will never forget the horror of that moment – the immediate feeling that we could have prevented it.”

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Linda, who is paediatric nurse, managed to pull Jonah out of the pond and resuscitated him at the scene, a feat that took eight minutes.

The toddler was then taken to Lister Hospital where he was critically ill and transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where he remained in a coma in intensive care for three days.

Despite initial scans showing a significant amount of brain damage five-year-old Jonah is now, according to mum, the ‘loudest’ and most active boy at St Mary’s School in Baldock, with a wealth of passions including football and dinosaurs.

Paula continued: “Jonah has made an incredible and complete recovery which we are continually thankful for.

“But, we will never forget the minutes, hours and days that we waited at his bedside, watching to see what the outcome would be. The support and care we received from this hospital was incredible.”

As part of Paula’s training for the marathon on April 26, she completed the Baldock Beast in February, but remains ‘daunted’ ahead of her first 26.2-miler.

The 36-year-old said: “Training for the marathon is going okay. Although my body is not holding up too well to the training with knee issues, groin issues and poorly feet and toes!

“I have also had dehydration problems, but apart from all that I’m confident!”

Paula is holding a quiz night at the Baldock scout hut on Saturday, March 21, on the fourth anniversary of the families’ arrival at Great Ormond Street.

The quiz starts at 7.30pm, tickets are £6 and includes a sausage roll, pavlova pudding and as well as a licenced bar and raffle.

There is a maximum of eight members per team. For tickets contact Paula at paulaschmaula@yahoo.co.uk.

To sponsor Paula visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/PaulaHolm.

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